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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

MIAMI-A construction loan for $250 million has been secured for one of Downtown Miami’s much anticipated mixed-use developments, Met 2. The $1-billion, two-tower project, set to feature 750,000 sf of class A office and 358 hotel rooms, is being developed through a joint venture by MDM Development Group and New York-based MetLife.

Bank of America and Wachovia Bank are the two lead banks providing the loan, says Tim Weller, vice president of MDM. HSBC Bank USA, RBC Bank and Bank of Scotland are also part of the loan. “To have secured a $250-million construction loan in this economic climate is nothing short of unprecedented,” Weller says. “It is a testament to the confidence these financial organizations have in our development, and for that we are extremely appreciative.”

The joint venture used equity and a bridge loan to start the project, Weller explains, and began to seek this new construction loan well before the current market situation. “That gave us a real advantage,” he says.

Currently, construction on the project is at the 25th level of the office tower and 18th level of the hotel tower, says Weller. At buildout, the office tower will reach 47 stories. The second tower, which will hold a JW Marriott Marquis-branded hotel and the first Hotel Beaux Arts, the new luxury hotel of Marriott International luxury group, will top out at 42 stories.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has recently signed a 50,000-sf, 12-year lease at the office building, joining international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, which signed 150,000-sf this summer. Both companies will occupy Met 2 in fall 2010. A total of 1.9 million sf of new office space is expected to come into the Downtown Miami market by that time, including Met 2 and competing new construction buildings 1450 Brickell and Brickell Financial Centre.

Met 2 is part of MDM and MetLife’s Metropolitan Miami project, which also includes Met 1, a 447-unit condominium tower; Met 3, a 696-unit condominium tower featuring a 24-Hour Fitness and Downtown’s only Whole Foods Market, and Met Square, an urban center including a 13-screen movie theater, restaurants and shopping.

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